Rock Ukulele

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Introduction: Rock Ukulele

This is an entry in the
Homemade Gifts Contest 2017

I decided to make a cool looking ukulele for my school trips. That will glow in the dark and be great looking in the daylight.

I took great inspiration from the second picture above. But unfortunately I can't find who posted it or where, If someone knows then i will add this information here:

Step 1: Glueing Body and Sanding

First you have to glue body and neck together. I used craft glue, added wooden pegs and tied everything together using old cables, beacause they don't stretch. Then I sanded it with 120 sanding paper, but not everything just uneven parts.

Step 2: "Patching" Holes in Wood.

I patched some holes and gaps in wood using some old acrylic wood filler. Then i sanded it smooth and sanded everything with 180 sanding block.

Step 3: First Coats

I gave the ukulele a nice coat of clear lacquer. Thats beacause acrylic paint i'm gonna be using is water-based and I don't want it to soak into the wood. (do not make this layer to thick beacause it will drip and you wil have a lot of trouble later) after 24 hours I sanded it lightly with 180 paper and started painting white coat with white acrylic paint. It had a lot of brush strokes beacause i used not a very good paint but i sanded it lightly and left it that way.

Step 4: Glow

I decided to make it more fun and creative by painting it with glow in the dark spray paint. I did a couple of layers checking coverage between by using UV light in the dark room. This way i saw where there wasn't enough paint. That is beacause on white background I couldn't see much of that glowing powder. (but don't count on the fact that it looks like a smooth white lacquer, it didn't cover the brush strokes from before) plus it has a powdery texture after drying out.

Step 5: Template

I made a template, of what I wanted to be on my ukulele, on a sketch paper with a pencil, the i cut out the rough shape, And used piece of drawing coal on the back of this cut-out I think that soft pencil would be better coal got everywhere in my room and I had to wash the ukulele with water. I placed the template on ukulele coal to the surface and secured it with painting yellow tape. then i used a ballpoint pen to go over the lines on the template. After I was done i took of the template and was left with a print of it on the ukulele. (Don't throw away the template you can reuse it if something got blured while painting.

Step 6: Artwork and Outlining

Now I used wet towel to remove excess of coal and started painting the colors with acrylic paint, on every color i did at least 2 layers beacause otherwise you could see white from behind. It was a little bit like colouring. you could do this step with paint markers but i had paint laying around. After colors are dry you can do the outlines, I did it with a brush number 1 and black acrylic paint but I think thin sharpie would work as well.

Step 7: Parts and Electronics

My kit from china came without one of plastic covers for tuning pegs so I made all 4 from modelling clay and baked it in the oven. Then i drilled a hole in them for tuning pegs sanded them smoother and sanded bottom more flat and so they are not to high i glued them in place using epoxy glue after painting colors. I also drilled a hole in the ukulele so that there is place for a Jack socket, later I will connect it with a piezo glued near the bridge.

This way I will be able to use it with a guitar amp.

I had to sand down the bottom of a saddle beacause the string action was terrible.

Step 8: Last Coat and Finishing Of.

To seal my work I used two layers of clear shiny lacquer.

then i pre drilled holes for mounting the bridge and fret board that is unfortunately plastic but I will change it for wooden and screwed on tuning pegs.

I took great inspiration from the second picture above. But unfortunately I can't find who posted it or where, If someone knows then i will add this information here:

Step 9: Done!

Now I can play it and enjoy the cool look of this glowing instrument.

In future i will change this plastic fingerboard for wooden one and probably add another layer of clear lacquer but I have to wait for better weather :)

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